SUV/TRUCK REVIEWS

Audi's Q7 is redesigned for 2017 and features

Cutting-edge is a word often thrown around by automakers in describing their vehicle upgrades. More often than not, it’s not quite as dramatic an improvement as they would indicate.


But sometimes, rarely, all that promotional lingo is right on the money. And a vehicle’s reimagining is truly exceptional and brings it to a new level. I recently experienced this with my test drive of the 2017 Audi Q7, the luxury SUV the German automaker that has gotten a major overhaul for the 2017 model year.


Between its new look, flawless driving experience, and seemingly endless tech additions, it impressed me to the point where I would list it atop all the other luxury SUVs in its class, and I’m here with a full breakdown of my time in the vehicle and what it has to offer.

The 2016 GMC Terrain Denali has a bold, attractive look

When I hear the name GMC, I think of trucks -- its Sierra pickups most specifically, and its Yukon full-size SUVs, which are based off of a truck body.

But let’s not forget that GMC still competes in the crossover marketplace too -- with its midsize Acadia offering, plus the baby of the bunch -- the GMC Terrain.

The Terrain is getting a bit dated compared to some competitors, but remains in the battlefield in the ever-crowded small SUV/crossover segment. I recently spent some time in a 2016 GMC Terrain Denali, and I’m back with a full report.

The redesigned 2016 Lexus RX350 and its unique grille set it apart from previous versions of the vehicle.

Beauty is only skin deep. But when it comes to vehicles, there’s something special about a vehicle that doesn’t look like everything else on the road and pushes boundaries.


Such is the case with the 2016 Lexus RX350, which features a daring design that goes against the typical look you see in today’s cookie-cutter vehicles. The moment I saw it for the first time, I was impressed.


But how would it drive? I’m back with a full recap after a week in the RX350.

The Fiat 500X is the automaker's largest vehicle to debut in the U.S.

Like most people, my first thought when I hear the name Fiat is of a car so small that it barely exists -- its basic “cinquecento” (aka 500).


But as the brand expands in America, it knows it has to grow -- and that’s where its latest vehicle, the 2016 Fiat 500X, comes into play.

In America, we like things that are XXL, Xtreme, Xtra large, and so on, so I like the naming convention. And while it’s not going to be confused with an Escalade, there’s no doubt this is the largest Fiat ever to grace the road in the U.S..

This is not your average Fiat; and that’s a good thing in my book. I was skeptical before I got the vehicle as to how I would enjoy my time in it, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by what it offers compared to other vehicles in the growing compact SUV segment.

The Lincoln MKX has been redesigned for the 2016 model year.

In the world of automobiles, an old, outdated look and style can be fatal to a vehicle.

So after nine years in its original form, the Lincoln MKX was among the vehicles most in need of a new look.


Thankfully it got a full refresh for the 2016 model year, and the results are a strong competitor in the midsize luxury sedan field.


A more modern look, better engine options and overall improvement in quality of materials make the vehicle finally feel like it belongs in this class. Here’s a full report on my time in the MKX.

The Volvo XC90 has been redesigned for the 2016 model year, and is part of the brand's efforts to boost U.S. sales rates.

Volvo’s got a tough row to hoe in the United States as it battles with other automakers for market share here.

In addition to the brand having a very small number of sales annually to begin with (about 60,000), it also has to deal with some level of concern among U.S. buyers that it is now a Chinese company, which is true on some level since a Chinese automaker (Geely) bought the company a few years back.

But that doesn’t mean the company is throwing in the towel in the U.S. 


In fact, they’ve gone full steam ahead to attract luxury SUV buyers with an all-out redesign on their at-one-time-very-popular XC90 model (which is still made in Sweden). This SUV had continued to fall behind its rivals in recent years with no reboot in ages, but its day has finally come for a facelift -- and the changes are pretty much in every corner -- with something new to find throughout its design, under the hood and in the tech setup.


I recently spent some time in an XC90, and I’m back with a full report.


The RAM Promaster City is a ride aimed at workers who need a powerful and spacious vehicle to haul their gear.

With seemingly everyone driving a truck or an SUV these days, it’s easy to forget about vans -- but they are still a part of the landscape in the automotive world, both full-sized and compact versions.


One such entry in this small but competitive category is the RAM ProMaster City, which I recently got a chance to test.

Competing primarily with the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan’s NV200 and the Chevy City Express, this mini version of the full-size RAM ProMaster van takes a simple approach to vanning -- lots of space and some power.

Here’s my full report after some time driving a 2015 ProMaster City.

The 2015 Nissan Juke NISMO RS has a personality and look all its own.

What exactly is that thing? it’s a Nissan Juke, thank you very much for asking.


I got quite a bit of that recently, when I spent a week testing the supremely unique 2015 Nissan Juke NISMO RS, which makes no effort to blend in with the crowd.

The Juke has always been somewhat of an odd duck, and the NISMO package I tested only furthers that.  Here’s my full report on the vehicle and how it measures up against other compact crossovers.

The 2015 Infiniti QX80 offers power, towing ability, and luxurious design

In the grand scheme of things, luxury automaker Infiniti’s bread-and-butter is in its smaller, sportier rides; but that doesn’t mean it’s stepping back its efforts in the SUV field -- quite the opposite in fact.

With a full lineup spanning from the QX50 to the QX80, there’s a size for everyone, and the biggest of them all is the QX80, which is a rarity in today’s automotive world -- the full-size truck-based three-row luxury SUV. I recently drove a 2015 Infiniti QX80, and I’m back with a full report on my experience.

GMC's Yukon XL is one of the largest vehicles available

There are big vehicles, there are bigger vehicles, and then there is the 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali.

A full-size SUV in every sense of the word, this thing is extremely large -- inching out even its competitors in this segment.
It’s large as in you could fit a small car inside of it.
It’s large as in you could maybe even live in it for a little while (though it doesn’t have a shower, so that wouldn’t last very long).

For 2015 the Yukon XL is fully redesigned with exterior styling changes and interior upgrades. I spent a week driving this luxurious land-cruiser, and I’m back with a full report on my experience.

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